"Facing the Storm: Story of the American Bison" (2010)

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“The driving thesis of the film: Why is it the most iconic of North American animals has no status as true wildlife?” Missoulian

“An incisive history of the animal’s relationship to man and efforts to restore bison herds to the Great Plains.” Kansas City Star

“Enlightening. FACING THE STORM is highly recommended for anyone with children (middle-school age and up) who are willing to learn how the West was really won and dang near ruined.” Tallahassee Democrat

“Bison stick out of our light-speed 21st-century technopolis like sore reminders of times long past. For this reason we haven’t been able to stop killing them. Or worse, privileging the unsustainable factory-farming of cattle, while hypocritically crying about the tragic loss of the West in the process. This week, Independent Lens airs FACING THE STORM: STORY OF THE AMERICAN BISON as a timely remainder of this historically problematic relationship. It’s an intricate analysis, brought to life by archival imagery, animation, and wildlife photography that will compel its viewers to get out of their cubicles into open spaces where existence takes on more dimensional meaning.” alter.net

“A smart, elegant production…sure bison are photogenic, iconic and mostly gone, but the film gets beyond the familiar story we think we know.” Newwest.net

“Featuring archival film and photographs, breathtaking original footage, evocative animated sequences, and a slate of interviews with a diverse array of characters—from scientists to ranchers, animal rights activists to state governors—FACING THE STORM paints a portrait of the issue that’s as broad and subtly shaded as the Great Plains themselves.” Missoulian

“Beautifully documented… both historical documentary and wildlife film, FACING THE STORM may be the most comprehensively-concise examination of how and why we managed to nearly eradicate 30 million animals from the Great Plains in less than 50 years, and what’s being done today to ensure their survival.” Missoula Independent

“FACING THE STORM, a new documentary about bison being screened tonight at the Emerson Center for Arts and Culture, is nothing if not ambitious. The film sets out to document “the complete history of human relations with the largest land mammal on the continent.” Bozeman Daily Chronicle

“An unflinching overview of the long and complex history of interaction between humans and bison. FACING THE STORM prompts important questions: Was it fear, greed, stupidity or all of the above that drove the primarily white European hunters to exterminate the vast oceans of American bison? How much of the same elements prevent us from allowing free-roaming herds of bison to thrive today throughout the vast Great Plains? The film is an honest, unflattering portrait of a nations continuing unabated, unchecked hunger for more, even when faced with less. Order a copy of the film today, but only if youre prepared to rethink what you assumed you knew about American bison, and in a larger sense, about America, where we’ve been as a people and where we’re headed. The answers may shock you.” Big Sky Journal

“Besides being an enduring symbol of the Great Plains, the buffalo is also an emblem of survival. For nearly 10,000 years these animals were the driving force behind Native American culture and economy; then, in the nineteenth century, their numbers plummeted from the tens of millions to fewer than 1,000. Though they’ve been saved from extinction, recent history hasn’t been so romantic for the buffalo, as their storied past has given way to an uncertain future tied up in the realities of land management, bureaucracy, court trials and town-hall meetings. Today, even as buffalo unite Indian tribes under a common cause, they divide hunters and conservationists, lawmakers and constituents, as America continues to argue what, exactly, home on the range means for the buffalo. FACING THE STORM analyzes these ongoing challenges in a beautifully shot film that combines interviews with Native Americans, conservationists and ranchers with sweeping panoramas of the plains, simple yet effective animation and not-for-the-squeamish scenes from slaughterhouses. Thoughtful and thought-provoking, the film’s look at North America’s history and future serves as a poignant reminder that civilizations are at their best when the land and its people live in mindful accord.” Riverfront Times

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